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February 2018 Newsletter

What if your phone gave you feedback every Monday, notifying you of how much time you spent on social media in the past week? What if you had a smartphone that was less bright, colorful and distracting? Would you still appreciate it for doing its job and not keeping you away from meaningful interactions?

In a new turn to the digital evolution, technology is currently facing a major backlash. Key industry players are under increasing pressure from consumers and shareholders alike to make screens less addictive. With tech addiction a rising national concern, more people are asking what can be done to de-escalate the mounting negative consequences to well-being, especially among children.

As the tech industry works its way through the issue, what can we as individuals do on our part?

In a post for The Garrison Institute highlighted below, I share my thoughts on how we can rediscover the joys of analog over digital devices. But when it comes to children, researchers, myself included, are still trying to understand how attention and anxiety work in the brain, and how it relates to problematic tech use.

In my research lab, we are currently conducting a study on adolescent anxiety, and we're looking for 12 to 14-year old participants. In this study, we focus squarely on how to best identity and treat teen anxiety. Further information on the study is provided below.

In other news, next month I will be in discussion with Senator Wendy Davis at Brainwave Fest at The Rubin. You can read her incredible story below on how she took to the Senate floor to embark on a challenging, yet memorable filibuster. It will be sure to be a fascinating night!

I hope you find this newsletter helpful, and feel free to get in touch if you would like further information on current research in my lab.


—Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary
We're Recruiting Participants!

Do you ever wonder about your adolescent's experiences of anxiety and worry?

We do! Help us learn about how attention and anxiety work together in the adolescent brain.

We are seeking 12-to 14-year old youth to participate in a research study.

During the first visit, you and your child will complete questionnaires about your child's emotions. In addition, your child will complete computerized tasks while non-invasive electroencephalography (EEG) is recorded. During the second visit, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will be used to track your child's brain activity.

You and your child will receive compensation of $100 for each visit, for a total of $200.

For full information, please contact us at: (212) 650-3878 or 
Upcoming Event

Brainwave 2018 at The Rubin Museum: The Future is Fluid

March 2nd 2018
The Rubin Museum of Art, NYC
7pm - 8.30pm
Click here for tickets.

As part of the Brainwave 2018 Festival, I will interview Senator Wendy Davis, former Texas state senator and founder of Deeds Not Words, a gender equality advocacy initiative. On June 25, 2013, Sen. Davis took to the senate floor to embark upon what she hoped would be a thirteen-hour filibuster to delay the vote on a stringent abortion bill. Rules would keep her from relying on food, drink, any physical support, or use of a restroom. Donning pink tennis shoes, Davis delivered an impassioned speech against the restrictive bill. That evening, President Barack Obama tweeted, “Something special is happening in Austin tonight.” At eleven hours, with crowds cheering her on, and intermittent objections from fellow senators, her time on the floor was brought to a close. Although her filibuster was just shy of her goal, the bill vote was still delayed.

Join me as I sit down together with Sen. Davis to discuss what happens to the brain under time duress such as a filibuster, and what role willpower plays in overcoming challenging physical circumstances. For more details on the event and how to purchase tickets, click here.
Recent Media/News

13 Signs It’s Time to Get Help for Your Anxiety

In a recent feature by RedbookMag, I discussed how to know when your anxiety becomes a problem, and when it may be time to seek out professional help. Read the full article here.
Blog Post for The Garrison Institute

Satisfy Your Craving for Human Contact

The inadequacy of digital connection has left us yearning for the felt presence of other people. In my latest post for The Garrison Institute, I explain why I think our love affair with digital may be over. Read my full post here.
Recent Publication
Threat Sensitivity

Have you ever thought about why being sensitive to threats might be linked to anxiety? In our recent entry in the Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences lead author Samantha Denefrio breaks it down for us.

Full citation:
Denefrio, S., Dennis-Tiwary, T.A. (2017). Threat sensitivity.
Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences (Eds. V. Zeigler-Hill & T.D. Shackelford).
About Tracy

Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary is a Professor of Psychology at Hunter College of the City University of New York, the Director of the Emotion Regulation Lab, and the Co-Director of the Hunter College Stress, Anxiety, and Resilience Research Center. She is also the Founder of the mobile app, Personal Zen, a scientifically-validated mobile app for reducing stress and anxiety.

Tracy’s mission is to understand the fundamental role of emotions in mental health, and to transform breakthrough science into engaging digital tools that elevate mental wellness and that bridge the gap between mental health needs and solutions. More about Tracy here.
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Copyright © 2018 Tracy Dennis-Tiwary, All rights reserved.

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